Where is my money?
Have you ever been to a Christian conference, concert or church service where it felt like you were swimming in the presence of God, but only to get back home and not be able to replicate the feeling?
I know I have. I’ll go to a church service and hear incredible worship and a message that challenges me to my core, but once I leave there and get home, I have trouble finding that same presence, that same conviction, that same fruit.
This hit me a while back during 21 Days of Prayer a few years ago. Ariel and I had gone to Georgia for her Step Grandmother’s funeral. On the way back home, we decided to stay in Auburn, since it was a good halfway point. We had Clay with us at the time, and at that age, he didn’t do too well being in the car for more than about 4 hours at a time. So, we stayed the night there in Auburn, and I was able to go to Church of the Highlands the next morning at 6am for prayer. It was awesome! The amount of people that were there to pray for their families and intercede for their city was incredible.
But then… it got even more awesome. I was sitting near the back of the auditorium when Pastor Wren, who is like a Pastor to my Pastor, came over and said, “You look very familiar… Do I know you from somewhere?” My first response in my head was… You have thousands of people that come to your church, I don’t even come here, and I look familiar? It felt odd to be recognized. I told him that I serve under Pastor Todd at Anchor Point. His next response blew me away. He said, “Why are you sitting all the way back here? You’re coming to sit on the reserved front row next to me.” It was awesome, though I’m pretty sure that he kicked one of his staff members off the front row to allow me to sit there.
Here’s the deal, I felt like I was somebody in a place where I knew nobody. The worship was awesome, the devotion was awesome, and the prayer was awesome, but to be known and to be blessed in that moment lit a fire under me.
BUT THEN… I left there, got back to the hotel, back to the normal, and we began driving from Auburn back to our home. Clay begins screaming bloody murder in the backseat, Ariel gets frustrated, I get frustrated, and I thought to myself, “Just this morning I felt SO close to God, and now I feel like His presence has left me.”
Have you ever been there? That feeling is straight poop emoji.
What I learned that day was pivotal.
My success there was coming from the outside in, rather than the inside out.
The reason you can feel God’s presence so greatly our church is because we have a Holy Spirit irrigation system that is watering everything and sustaining it inside the building. But, when you leave, you have to be able to produce that same watering mechanism on your own. Or should I say it referencing my last post, you need to cultivate a Holy Spirit ECOSYSTEM within yourself outside of this building.
You can’t obtain something and expect to keep it without learning to sustain it. Pastor Todd said it a few weeks ago, your talent can take you to soaring heights, but it’s your character that will sustain you there. Let me explain.
I was reading through the story of the prodigal son recently, but this time, I did it with some commentaries and studied it more deeply. Then, it hit me like a ton of bricks.
Here is a bit of that story from Luke 15:11-32:
Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them. “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.
The son just asked for his inheritance, right? I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately… this idea of inheritance and what I’m going to leave behind for my kids. Most people think of this as a monetary thing, but that’s not necessarily the case. See, the prodigal son asked for his inheritance before he left the house, but that isn’t what he got. He got riches. Because he asked for it with a spirit of entitlement, he received the money, but he didn’t receive the inheritance. He said “Where is my money, pops?” which he thought should just be handed to him, then he made like a bread truck and hauled buns. It was the best get rich quick scheme I’ve ever seen…
The son missed out on the full inheritance; the money was just a small part. What he missed out on was learning his father’s heart, good character, strong work ethic, the business savvy that brought in the money to begin with, and everything that he needed to learn that which would help him sustain and grow the riches that he was given. Riches were just a small portion of inheritance. The son got rich, but he didn’t get wealthy.
This all begins with the posture and attitude of your heart. Inheritance is brought by humility and constancy, but riches is brought by entitlement and impatience.
If you need money, stop asking God for money. Instead ask God whyyou need money. If you’re always out, then there’s a problem with the ecosystem. The same goes with any other resource that you are lacking in life.
If you’re always out of strength, there’s a problem with the ecosystem.
If you’re always out of patience, there’s a problem with the ecosystem.
If you’re always out of touch with God or others, there’s a problem with the ecosystem.
We have become a culture that is okay with living on someone else’s resources.
People do it with their gifting, their anointing, they do it with favor, they do it with the presence of God, etc… because we haven’t made the decision or don’t know how to create the sustainability within us. We’ve become complacent on living on someone else’s resources.
For instance, we come to church, and we always have to borrow someone else’s faith, or it takes someone else’s anointing and gifting in order to “get you in the mood” for worship. So, we live life spiritually poor, and end up blaming the church for not “feeding us” as if we’re spiritually homeless.
Or, you wait and expect for the church to facilitate an opportunity to serve someone else, though you passed 3 people stuck on the side of the road this week, saw a single mom trying to haul a shopping cart full of groceries with 2 kids in her arms, and you ignored several calls from someone that you call your friend who is down in the dumps and just needs to talk.
Or maybe you have friends that have great careers and have good connections, and you’re constantly relying on them to help find you a good job, though you haven’t done anything on your own other than toss a few prayers up to God as you fill out a few resumes online.
Maybe every time you get into financial trouble because of your consistent bad decisions you call your parents and turn on the tears because you know they will always jump in and save the day and "support you" no matter what.
Complacency comes from compromise. We don’t choose one day to be complacent, no, we compromise one thing after another and we end up there. What ever it is that you have compromised on, it’s just not sustainable.
Make it sustainable!
We all have a gift, but we must learn how to sustain it and grow it. Otherwise, your current opportunities are only built on riches and not wealth. At some point those riches will run out, and you will end up where the prodigal son did… begging for someone else to sustain you again. You can’t keep borrowing the anointing and favor from someone else, you need to learn how to cultivate it on your own.
God has given you what you know up to this point, but what are you learning that will sustain you beyond that?
I want to give you a scripture. Galatians 6:7-9 says,
“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
It’s essentially saying that at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Riches are of the flesh, and while God wants us to live life abundantly, he wants us to have the full inheritance. Riches are partial favor. I don’t know about you, but I want a full favor life. Inheritance is of the Holy Spirit. Perseverance and waiting is a part of life, but you should also be growing and building something that is sustainable. What are you doing now while you wait for the full inheritance?
So, I actually have some homework for you this time. I want to encourage you to start sewing into one resource that you feel you need in life. JUST ONE. Don’t pick two or three or seventeen, just pick one. I heard a saying once that says, "If you want peaches, you can’t plant apples and pray they’ll become peaches.”
If you want better friendships, sow friendship.
If you want to be better in your gifting, sow your gifting.
If you want to know God deeper, sow into that relationship.
If you want money, yep, sow money. (If you say you can’t afford to tithe, then you've successfully proven that you can’t do it without God.)
It sounds simple, but I promise it works. Whatever you are lacking in, don’t just pray for riches in that area. Sow into the inheritance. Sow in to that very thing that you are asking for. Humble yourself and ask God to show you where you have been entitled. Maybe you’ve been living on someone else’s gifting or anointing. Repent from that today and ask God to help you sow into his abundant life for you.
Let me ask you, what is one resource that you need to sow? If you were to ask a close friend, what do you think they would say that you need to sow into? Drop it in the comments below 👇🏼